Stebner and Associates filed a lawsuit on behalf of four senior citizens accusing Oakmont Senior Living of failing to safely evacuate them from Villa Capri, an assisted living facility that burned to the ground during the massive wildfires on October 9, 2017.
"The plaintiffs filed this lawsuit to send a strong message to not only Oakmont, but to all California long-term care facilities that they must immediately develop workable evacuation plans with trained staff to implement them," said attorney Kathryn Stebner. She also said, "As the fire came closer to Villa Capri, staff told a family member there was no evacuation plan, and that the people with dementia should be evacuated last. I don't know what would have happened if family members had not been there to get people out before the building burned. This should never happen again."
"There they were, the two women outside, with all the folks inside staring at them motionless through the glass," Stebner said. "One of them ran to her car, got a tow hitch from her Jeep and threw it into the glass, broke the glass, then used it to keep the door pried open. They refused to leave anyone behind. We still can't believe there was no emergency plan."
Lawsuit accuses Santa Rosa senior home of abandoning residents as wildfire approached (Los Angeles Times, November 21, 2017)
"I have been doing elder abuse cases since 1987," said Kathryn Stebner, an attorney for the four women. "This is one of the worst cases of its kind."
4 residents sue Oakmont Senior Living, alleging they were abandoned during wildfires. (Press Democrat, November 20, 2017)